NDSU Celebrates 2024 Day of Honor

On Tuesday, February 13th, the NDSU Day of Honor was celebrated. The NDSU Day of Honor is used to honor the lives of faculty, staff, and current students who had passed in the previous year. This tradition is able to provide those attending a sense of community and reverence while mourning the losses of these individuals. 

The ceremony began with a moving piano piece played by Dr. Jo Ann Miller, followed by opening remarks from Kristi Steinmann, the staff senate president of NDSU. When speaking on the impact those we have lost made on the university, Steinmann describes them as “part of the fabric of the NDSU community that we’re proud to be connected to.”

Following Steinmann’s words, Dr. Warren Christensen spoke on the heroic act of being an educator, teacher, or mentor. “Please know that they made a difference and that their legacy continues on,” said Christensen on how deeply the community has been impacted by these individuals both in life and loss. 

Following Dr. Christensen, student government president Kaylee Weigel provided a touching story on her experience and interaction with professor Adnan Akyuz and how he made an impact on her academic and personal journey here at NDSU. Weigel then invited provost David Bertolini to the stage to deliver his remarks. Following Bertolini’s remarks, Laura Oster-Aaland led the remainder of the ceremony. “Today we pause to remember the students, faculty members, and staff of our community who demonstrated their compassionate actions to make our community great,” said Oster-Aaland referring to how we will mourn the loss of these individuals who have touched so many lives. 

Oster-Aaland continues to give anecdotes on several students and what they had done in their lives to leave a legacy with their family, friends, and mentors. Oster-Aaland then spoke on the successes and achievements of the faculty and staff being honored such as Marillyn Nass, part of the NDSU community since 1959, founder of Orchesis, and was named dance educator of the year in 1989. The life stories and achievements of many other faculty members such as Barbara North, Robert Carlson, Larry Leistritz, and others were honored for their research papers published, global studies, educational awards, and personal impacts on the NDSU community. 

Near the end of the ceremony, each community member lost was honored with the lighting of a candle. The ceremony concluded with a guitar and vocal performance by Dr. Christensen and a choral performance from the Challey School of Music led by Dr. Miller. 

The NDSU 2024 Day of Honor celebrated the individuals lost in the NDSU community in their lives, work, achievements, and personal impacts made on countless lives inside and outside the NDSU community. 

The individuals that were celebrated on the 2024 Day of Honor are as follows. 

NDSU Faculty

-Grant Lebahn

-Marillyn Nass

-Barbara North

-Robert Carlson

-Larry Leistritz 

-Jeff Pfingsten

-Carolyn Grygiel

-Adnan Akyuz

NDSU Students

-Ross Allmaras 

-Lorin Dombrecki

-James Perry Jr

NDSU Staff

-Steve Winfrey

-Maynard Niskanen 

-Jim Renfrew

-James Swank Sr

-Lillian Cole

-Dean Cook

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